Plasma leptin concentrations and OB gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue are not regulated acutely by physiological hyperinsulinaemia in lean and obese humans.Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997 Mar; 21(3):179-83.IJ
To determine the effects of obesity on fasting plasma leptin levels and assess the effects of feeding on plasma leptin and OB gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue in non-diabetic subjects.
Blood and subcutaneous adipose tissue needle biopsy samples were obtained after an overnight fast and 1, 2 and 3 h following a mixed meal (606 kcal).
Eighteen female subjects: eight lean with a mean age of 40.1 yr (range 20-65) and mean body mass index of 22.24 kg/m2 (range 18.6-26.6) and ten obese subjects with a mean age of 48.6 yr (range 29-71) and body mass index of 33.53 kg/m2 (range 28.7-41.7).
Apart from obesity the only significant difference between groups was a 2.6 fold higher fasting plasma leptin concentration in obese subjects compared to leans (26.9 +/- 2.9 vs 10.2 +/- 2.22 (P < 0.05) respectively). Adipose tissue OB mRNA levels were not significantly higher in the obese group. Plasma leptin correlated with BMI and visceral fat weight in lean subjects only. No significant association between plasma leptin and adiposity was evident in obese patients. In addition, there was no association between plasma leptin and the insulin: glucose ratio (an index of insulin sensitivity). Following a mixed meal, post-prandial plasma insulin levels were significantly increased, with a concomitant significant reduction in plasma NEFA levels in both groups. Despite the large increase in plasma insulin, there were no post-prandial changes in either plasma leptin concentrations or subcutaneous adipose tissue OB mRNA levels in either lean or obese subjects.
The data indicate that plasma leptin levels are correlated with the degree of adiposity, especially in lean subjects, and confirm that circulating leptin levels are greater in obese subjects than lean subjects. The present study also failed to show a significant association between plasma leptin and insulin sensitivity in lean and obese women. Furthermore, plasma leptin and subcutaneous adipose tissue OB gene expression are not under short term regulation following feeding in fasted lean or obese female subjects.